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g orton

BOLTS!!!!

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I'll begin a fresh bolting discussion, hopefully a little broader than a discussion of Moolack and Flagstone.

 

1) who decides what the appropriate spacing should be? It seems to me that the consensus on spacing keeps changing.

2) when is it ok to add to an existing route? This is sometimes not as simple as, "it should remain as the first ascent team did the route." I have gone back and add bolts to routes I've done on lead because I was in the zone at the time and would not expect anyone else to necissarily be in the same frame of mind.

3) when is it appropriate to chop bolts on a route?

4) what favorite quotes do you have on bolting style or ethics?

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I know that the route I did at Coethedral area on The Steeple I placed the bolts close. Between 6 and 7 feet apart. Mostly because I had to aid on this ground up attempt on 5.10 overhanging terrain. I didn't want the route to be a bolt ladder so I made myself on every bolt get into the top step of my aiders and drilled as high as I could, while hanging on knobs.

 

The ethic of Coethedral is that because it is a total knobfest that the bolt placing should be close to make a fall on the knobs not a season ending injury. So being that I am short and with the rule to be in the top step it was a perfect measuring stick to get the route "Brother Mike" in.

 

We freed the route yesterday and the bolt placing was perfect in my partners opinion. We will have to see in the future how others feel.

 

I feel that the locals should decide between themselves what is the ethic and then stick to their guns about what should or should not be done in their area. For instance Beacon Rock will never be a bolt infested sport area. Thank God!

 

I have never chopped a bolt. The only ones that I would chop are the ones that the first acentionist would sanction.

 

The quote I like is Messners "Murder of the Impossible". The way I climb it is more like the murder of the possible.

 

Then I like the line in my new song "Well the first thing you know ol Plaid's a drillionaire"

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I'll begin a fresh bolting discussion, hopefully a little broader than a discussion of Moolack and Flagstone.

 

1) who decides what the appropriate spacing should be? It seems to me that the consensus on spacing keeps changing.

2) when is it ok to add to an existing route? This is sometimes not as simple as, "it should remain as the first ascent team did the route." I have gone back and add bolts to routes I've done on lead because I was in the zone at the time and would not expect anyone else to necissarily be in the same frame of mind.

3) when is it appropriate to chop bolts on a route?

4) what favorite quotes do you have on bolting style or ethics?

 

Are you sure that you want to take a swing at this bee's nest???

There are some pretty lengthy "discussions" about this topic on this site!

 

For example, you asked, "when is it appropriate to chop bolts on a route?"

My answer: nearly anytime, but you'll find that others disagree.

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Between 6 and 7 feet apart.

The second pitch is 115 ft. with 22 draws

I guess I'm going to have to revert back to Win7 from Win8 because the new calculator is broken.

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Moolack will never have bolts and the community behind moolack will stand behind that bolt-less standard and any bolt that shows up will be chopped.

 

Flagstone (and some callahans) is an atrocity because there shouldn't be bolts specifically for "children's routes". Children should climb, but they shouldn't have disgustingly overly bolted routes made for them. I have a daughter, she'll clip bolts when shes old and big enough to handle "reasonable" bolt length routes. I won't waste her time clipping bolts every two feet as a kid, she can stay on top-rope or boulder. Who is in a hurry for their kid to lead? Was it worth all those bolts and all the negative attention thats been brought to Flagstone.

 

1. Appropriate bolt spacing is subjective - but most climbers worth their salt can identify when a bolts been placed a. at a stance reasonable to clip, b. prudent give the last piece of protection below said bolt

 

In a perfect world routes would be bolted as Anglin and others did on-lead at Menagerie. The bolts are where there are stances practical for bolting (also practical for clipping) and there isn't excess because excess would mean a ridiculous day bolting for the FAist.

 

If a route is bolted on rappel - have the creativity and awareness to understand where a bolt would have been potentially placed on lead, where a stance would have occured because that same stance will work for route-leaders. Climb the route a couple of times on tr if your rap-bolting make sure you have the best places for bolts where the leader is assuming the amount of risk you have in mind for the route, but are avoiding R or X situations.

 

Bolt as little as you need to.

 

3. Its always appropriate to chop bolts at a place where any and all bolts would be unwelcome (i.e. Moolack)

 

Look at the situation at Castle Rock near City of Rocks - there they have a climbing ranger with eons of experience with route development. New route goes thru a formal process on paper with images and proposed bolts. He reviews, he climbs the route, makes edits changes theoretical placements of bolts based on whats practical - he then hands back edited and approved route paperwork. Its then on the developer to bolt the route within these terms.

 

If your going to bolt a route - be experienced enough with routes to make the kind of quality decisions that our friend Castle Rock Climbing Ranger has to make on behalf of others. We're lucky in Oregon we don't have to go thru this formal process to new-route - but that doesn't mean our routes shouldn't go thru the same standard of quality meticulously deriving the best scenario for a new route with minimal and safe bolts. Take the time and pull from others BEFORE you bolt, have a plan that looks good for bolt-spacing not just to yourself but to other experienced climbers around you. What you may think of as "run-out" or "over-bolted" may be completely different from what the next person thinks, but if you pull from multiple opinions and get a range of values BEFORE you bolt, you'll probably get that spacing worked out better

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4) what favorite quotes do you have on bolting style or ethics?

 

raindawg, fuk off!!!!
:lmao::lmao::lmao:

 

Both of you........starting the ugliness early, eh? :rolleyes:

Stick to the topic.

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Are you sure that you want to take a swing at this bee's nest???

There are some pretty lengthy "discussions" about this topic on this site!

 

Well spoken Don. It's always been local (crag) ethics and tradition, with a nod to the dude or dudette who climbed it first, trump all.

 

This can clearly be seen as differentiated at Yosemite (attempt to climb with as little bolts as the FA can get away with) and Smith Rocks (which has runout routes and closely bolted face climbs depending on who FA'ed it mixed in with some sweet gear only cracks).

 

TRADition can include HOW it's bolted as well. http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=492354&tn=0&mr=0

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This can clearly be seen as differentiated at Yosemite and Smith Rocks.

 

Good word - differentiated

 

I will use it in a sentence 3x today to make sure I have it in my mental database.

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Even though you want the discussion to not be about Flagstone, it has some very poorly bolted routes right by intelligently bolted routes. It also has a few squeeze jobs and poorly installed bolts to round out the story. I'd rather not trash on people I haven't met so I won't name names or call out specific routes. The routes are there, and most of us know which ones they are. Where the line was crossed is pretty clear and we shouldn't let our friendships with people blur that line.

 

Everybody makes mistakes here or there, but it sure seems to me like people decide what they are going to do and then figure out how to justify it to the community. The person(s) then can feel that their bolting ethic is fine and dandy, however grudgingly the community accepted the route. Throw in some hubris and a cult of personality and good luck having a frank discussion about a route someone has bolted.

 

Chopping a route shouldn't have to be the only control mechanism for overzealous bolting. Nobody wants the ugliness of a bolt war, but that doesn't mean that certain bolting practices are accepted within the community. It just means that people would rather deal with the insane bolting/new routing than divide the community of climbers.

 

 

There are lines all over the place which could be climbed, but does every crag really need another bolt sprayed 5.easy slab climb? Does every area need a guidebook? Does every boulder need a good scrubbing and problem, with before and after pictures online for land managers to see? Does every person need to see their name in a guidebook to feel good about themselves as a climber?

 

 

Maybe the answers lie in challenging my ethics to be acceptable to the community rather than challenging the community to roll over so I can do it my way. I see this relationship as the distillation of the ethics discussion we will be having in the years to come as we try to manage a limited resource with more and more people. How important is the individual really?

Edited by JoeR

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Orton-I respect you for giving it a try and asking for people to share their opinions of bolting. It's important for someone who develops sport routes to be aware of what other climbers think. Problem is most people won't say much on what they really think because they have been taught that in order to do that you have to bash an individuals effort and/or style. I know that's not what you are after and have legimate questions.

 

I've noticed other climbers will usually respect someone's development if they don't have a f'off-I'm doing it my way-attitude, even if their style is different then the norm. Of course tolerance disappears when a climber pushes the boundaries when considering their environmental impact(s), and jepordizes land use opportunities. I think Plaidman is a perfect example of this (how TO do it). He has chose a style that has some tradition to it, and no doubt some thrill-drilling on lead, while keeping it safe for others to enjoy with plenty of bolts. He even took time to explain his rational on numbers of bolts. I'm sure he realizes that 40 years ago there would have only been 1/4 of the bolts, but nobody climbs those routes! So, I'm guessing that part of his thinking is giving something back for others to enjoy with a well protected route. I don't see anyone critisizing him for having his own style.

 

I personally think it's very cool to have different styles (i.e. bolt spacing) even at the the same crag, even lines right next to each other. Sometimes I just aint in the mood to run it out, so the more bolts the better-no shame in that. But, when I start up a difficult route with less bolts it's game time! I love having to focus on movement, and not rely on grabbing a quickdraw if things don't feel just right. There is a reason I have walked by Dreamin so many times. But when I do that route, it's gonna be WAY sweeter!

I don't care where you climb in the world, or grade you climb. More commitment is going to equal a different (I believe richer) experience for most climbers. Those are the routes you want to hear someone talk about around the campfire. Not a sit start V4, or a .12 clip up.

 

I think all styles are relevant and make climbing part of what it is, even the clip ups.

 

 

1)Route developer. Which direction do you think consensus is changing? Probably tighter spacing? I have seen both.

2)Ask the developer. If they are dead, ask his friends, if no friends, ask the locals.

3)Only on your route. If you are dead, your friends can do it.

 

 

Edited by luvshaker

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Moolack will never have bolts and the community behind moolack will stand behind that bolt-less standard and any bolt that shows up will be chopped.

 

Flagstone (and some callahans) is an atrocity because there shouldn't be bolts specifically for "children's routes". Children should climb, but they shouldn't have disgustingly overly bolted routes made for them. I have a daughter, she'll clip bolts when shes old and big enough to handle "reasonable" bolt length routes. I won't waste her time clipping bolts every two feet as a kid, she can stay on top-rope or boulder. Who is in a hurry for their kid to lead? Was it worth all those bolts and all the negative attention thats been brought to Flagstone.

 

=============================================================

RESPONSE - Cheetcat makes a good point here. One of my very first leads was the 5.6 first pitch of Tuolumne's Dike Route. An airy .6 with one or two bolts it is all mental and still memorable 33 years later. Yet if it had been bolted using the argument that it should be bolted for a .6 lead climber (i.e. retro-bolting at Flagstone) it would just be another forgotten route not worth the effort. And, what does "bolting for a .6 lead climber" mean? Since when does a .6 climber deserve to lead? And why would anyone want to reduce the histroic mental side of the climb away by adding bolts? As Peter Gulyash put it, "..one more bolt would make it accessible to many more climbers. One more bolt would also rob it of a tremendous amount of atmosphere, excitement, and challenge, of its spirit and so of its quality. It would become just another route.."

===============================================================

 

1. Appropriate bolt spacing is subjective - but most climbers worth their salt can identify when a bolts been placed a. at a stance reasonable to clip, b. prudent give the last piece of protection below said bolt

 

In a perfect world routes would be bolted as Anglin and others did on-lead at Menagerie. The bolts are where there are stances practical for bolting (also practical for clipping) and there isn't excess because excess would mean a ridiculous day bolting for the FAist.

 

If a route is bolted on rappel - have the creativity and awareness to understand where a bolt would have been potentially placed on lead, where a stance would have occured because that same stance will work for route-leaders. Climb the route a couple of times on tr if your rap-bolting make sure you have the best places for bolts where the leader is assuming the amount of risk you have in mind for the route, but are avoiding R or X situations.

 

Bolt as little as you need to.

 

3. Its always appropriate to chop bolts at a place where any and all bolts would be unwelcome (i.e. Moolack)

 

Look at the situation at Castle Rock near City of Rocks - there they have a climbing ranger with eons of experience with route development. New route goes thru a formal process on paper with images and proposed bolts. He reviews, he climbs the route, makes edits changes theoretical placements of bolts based on whats practical - he then hands back edited and approved route paperwork. Its then on the developer to bolt the route within these terms.

 

===============================================================

RESPONSE - I question whether Park Rangers, the Forest Service, or even a climbing club should be trying to dictate climbing and bolting ethics. Perhaps assisting to facilitate discussion and provide guidance, but anything more would be inappropriate. Personally I think that Bernard Lewis's geopolitical view is also applicable to climbing for a "society where authority comes from within and not from above." The only problem I see with retro-bolted routes at Flagstone (for example) is that there only seems to be talk without action. For example it has been more than 10 years since Flagstone was retro-bolted. Ten years of letgitmate concern and dabate among climbers without action has been little more than beating chests and a whine fest.

 

These questions are timely as the Access Fund is hosting a national forum centered around bolting issues in October.

 

So, when there are bolting issues in Oregon, particularly W OR what do you see your role to be? Or if it is someone elses responsibility, who's is it if not yours? What has worked to resolve bolting issues and what has not? For instance at Flagstone why were the bolts on Vortex thinned out while the 9+ bolts added to Toy Box remain?

==============================================================

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Not every route one bolts has to be sprayed to death on the internet and included in a guidebook. I recently visited a couple of the areas included in the new Northwest Oregon guidebook and was astonished that anyone would bother climbing there let alone including them in a guidebook. But hey, if you're having fun, go for it, but the rest of the world probably doesn't need to know.

 

Eliminating the hype would eliminate a lot of potential negative issues with land managers AND a lot of the bickering associated with bolting within the community.

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Since when does a .6 climber deserve to lead?

 

So you're saying that one doesn't deserve to lead climb unless you feel completely confident on grades higher than 5.6?

 

What does that even mean Greg, and when did you turn into such an elitist prick? Why would you ever even bother with putting a bolt on anything less than 5.10 then? Sorry we're not all hardmen of yor.

 

This is the kind of shit I'd expect from Checat but after seeing your work all over Oregon I had a much higher opinion of you.

 

Guess I was wrong.

 

I've done a shit ton of climbing in the last couple of years and I've only clipped my way up a hand full of sport routes in that time so as far as I'm concerned you guys can go ahead and chop any and every sport route you encounter whether it's for a 5.12 hardman or a gumby 5.6 trembler. Considering the number of bolts that you have personally sunk in the last decade I'd think that you should have asked these questions a hell of a long time ago. Or you're trolling. Either way I'm a little disappointed to see this kind of crap coming from you.

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The only problem I see with retro-bolted routes at Flagstone (for example) is that there only seems to be talk without action. For example it has been more than 10 years since Flagstone was retro-bolted. Ten years of letgitmate concern and dabate among climbers without action has been little more than beating chests and a whine fest.

 

Thats a really good point! There has been over a decade of "chest-beating" and complaining about Flagstone and zero chopping or retrobolting in response to whats been identified to many as "over-bolted".

 

I can only guess that a. your never going to take away the signs that a bolt hole was there. A disgusting marred, hypoxed over bolt-hole, or even worse if they glued it in is likely never going to get back to the rock it was before, so why bother trying and b. Maybe Flagstone in that decade plus has served its purpose as an example of Bad Bolting.

 

Maybe as long as Flagstones the symbolic mistake, others can see that mistake and develop with better standards moving forward.

 

Maybe its better to have one bad example, that developers can point to and use as a cautionary tale, rather than a series of poorly bolted crags?

 

Castle Rock in ID comes up yet again - They have the infamous "Climbing Comp" tragedy where excessive bolts and modular holds bolted and glued to a crag equaled closure of the Castle Rock area. With it re-opened - that wall still shows signs of the event and what goes wrong when climbing ethics and standards are completely thrown out the window. Now it acts as the symbolic mistake, just like our Flagstone

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Here's a real quick thought (that applies to some routes at some of the areas in question): if there is any possibility you can Z-clip, the bolts are way too close together.

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julian - yes -seen it time and time again at F-stone. I can still remember from leading group trips for OSU, we made a point of utilizing Flagstone those years cause there is no better place to teach avoiding back and z-clips than the f-stone...

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Here's a real quick thought (that applies to some routes at some of the areas in question): if there is any possibility you can Z-clip, the bolts are way too close together.

 

I've Z clipped only once. It happened on one of the 5.8 pitches on Eagles Dare on Acker rock. I wonder who bolted that route?:rolleyes:

 

I don't think I was a solid 5.8 climber at that point so I guess I didn't deserve to lead that pitch either. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm still not a solid 5.8 climber so I should really sell all my gear and head back to the gym until I get my 5.6 lead cert card. Anyone wanna buy a double rack of cams? Most of them have only be dropped a couple times. I've hung on most of 'em quite a few times though.

Edited by KirkW

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Between 6 and 7 feet apart.

The second pitch is 115 ft. with 22 draws

I guess I'm going to have to revert back to Win7 from Win8 because the new calculator is broken.

 

22 bolts in 115? I have a general rule against spraying in someone's TR so I'll mention it here. Plaid I haven't climbed your route and I'm sure it was an epic pain to bolt (dirty!) but that said it sounds like you created an aid ladder on a free climb. You should think abut these things. I'm not a very bold climber, but a bolt every 10' is plenty, even on lose terrain. You're not going to break your leg falling a few extra feet. Be smart, if you're going to sink in that kind of hardware ask yourself honestly, a.) are people going to want to climb this route b.) is the average climber going to be content with the bolting. Climb a bunch of routes at Wolf Rock, Smith, etc to get a feel for what other climbers are doing in Oregon. Is your bolt placements similar to these areas? If not, why is that?

 

Generally people bolt ground up as an adventure, to make it more mentally challenging for the first ascent or in some cases ground up is the local ethic area.

 

If you need some inspiration for bolting on lead take a read at what Alex (ex-local) did two summers ago while on lead. (hand drilling no less) This is normally what bolting on lead is like.

 

Or since I know you like to use the power drill, watch this video of Adam free climbing drilling on lead .14D and drilling on lead.

 

Have fun out there!

 

-Nate

 

 

 

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super short bolt intervals are the norm for coethedral area, and probably justified - wierd conglomerate that's incredibly unreliable and nasssssty cheesegrater falls when it all goes wrong.

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General note: I think we can all have this discourse without the swear words at each other. My opinions only to follow.

 

 

Next, to address Bills point:

 

Not every route one bolts has to be sprayed to death on the internet and included in a guidebook. I recently visited a couple of the areas included in the new Northwest Oregon guidebook and was astonished that anyone would bother climbing there let alone including them in a guidebook. But hey, if you're having fun, go for it, but the rest of the world probably doesn't need to know.

 

Eliminating the hype would eliminate a lot of potential negative issues with land managers AND a lot of the bickering associated with bolting within the community.

 

I disagree in general terms. My thoughts are that we have little solid rock to climb in this area especially when Beacon closes for most of the best part of the climbing season. People should share their cliff discovery's with the bros for several huge reasons:

1st) It spreads out the climbers a bit more.

 

2nd) It helps keep cliffs and routes clean. Everyone knows I've done a lot of bolted routes last couple years, but I didn't do those for me but for the rest of the community. I happen to have the time and extra money to do it and do it right. I personally like climbing cracks. So on cracks (or any route in this area I suppose) if no one climbs them they literally turn to shit. Beacon, for instance, has the best cracks and gets more laps and climber action than most other spots but it still gets overgrown during the closure. Witness the discussion of climbers communicating on CC.com that they will be caretaking and literally chiseling roots out of cracks and protection spots a specific Beacon route which became overgrown and too dirty to get up. Pete's Pile never was in a guidebook and every damned year I'd go up there I wind up cleaning dirt off perfect splitter cracks. Bravo that it's finally in the guidebook. Routes which don't get climbed soon become unclimbable.

 

3rd) It's nice to share. We like it when folks share with us and we should reciprocate. We should treat each other the way we want to be treated ourselves. New places and new discovers are fun, they are few and far apart and should be shared cause it's the right thing to do. You're not holding out on us with your own Private Idaho cliff? :lmao:

 

 

Lastly:

You're not going to break your leg falling a few extra feet.

Nope Nate. You're wrong. Go do the route then check back in with your opinion. Really.

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Just got off the South Ridge of Torment and Serpentine Arete on Dragontail all in the past 6 days. Didn't see one single fu*king bolt the entire time and it would have detracted from the experience if there had been any.

 

""1) who decides what the appropriate spacing should be? It seems to me that the consensus on spacing keeps changing.""

 

More balls, more space, less balls, less space. 5 feet apart? No balls.

 

climbing something like Crested Jewel or Safe Sex, the bolted runouts add spice to the climb.

 

""2) when is it ok to add to an existing route?

 

Never

 

""3) when is it appropriate to chop bolts on a route?""

 

Any established trad area. Any time permission was not asked or granted from first ascencionists. Any time bolts are near natural protection, cracks etc. Any time a trad climber with big balls is in the mood.

 

""4) what favorite quotes do you have on bolting style or ethics?""

 

The Murder of the Impossible essay by the legendary Reinhold Messner

 

"Today's climber doesn't want to cut himself off from the possibility of retreat: he carries his courage in his rucksack, in the form of bolts and equipment."

 

"Ambitions are no longer built on skill, but on equipment and the length of time available."

 

"Faith in equipment has replaced faith in oneself"

 

"If I meet the impossible. I'm not going to be killing any dragons, but if anyone wants to come with me, we'll go to the top together on the routes we can do without branding ourselves murderers."

 

 

 

 

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I saw a climber take a 100 foot fall on Heinous Cling full at Smith. All bolted routes are not casual.

 

5.15b would not exist without reasonably placed bolts.

 

Realization (first 5.15a) is a whole different animal than Serpentine Arete as are the thousands of easier bolted routes that have made so many climbers happy.

 

Live and let live: such an easy concept but rarely followed.

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If there is anything I learned from putting routes up with bolts is you cant please everyone. Someone will shake your hand and say great job....love the route and the very next guy will shout at you for adding bolts to the rock.

 

I quite trying to please everyone....

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